Hi all, can a laser light be magnified by means of a magnifying glass?
Hi, i am referring to making the beam brighter by focusing the beam to a smaller beam like when one focuses sunlight thru a magnifying glass.
Yes you can - but a laser beam is generally already pretty small and you would need fairly good optics for the focussing down to win over optical errors scattering light out of the beam.
A microscope objective would work, a dollar store magnifying glass wouldn't.
Nope, you can squeeze the beam down to make the point brighter but at the other side of the minimum point the beam spreads out - it doesn't restore any of the light lost by the mirror bounces.I dont know much about optics so I may be totally off base with this thought. I was thinking that if I introduce a magnifying glass at the point where the visual brightness of the beam drops off, i could get a few more bounces out of it.
Nope, you can squeeze the beam down to make the point brighter but at the other side of the minimum point the beam spreads out - it doesn't restore any of the light lost by the mirror bounces.
The mirror's are losing light because of reflection losses and because they are not perfectly flat and so some light is being scattered out of the beam.
ps. Be careful a laser that can ignite matches can easily damage your eyesight with even an accidental reflection from a shiny bit of metal like a watch strap or a dropped part.
Archimedes death ray: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Archimedes#The_Archimedes_Heat_Ray_.E2.80.93_myth_or_reality.3FBTW: what is Archimedes' mirror trick? Sounds interesting....
Maybe we're just talking past each other here. Are you saying that you can't make a "bright" spot by reflecting some sunlight with a mirror, then make it brighter and hotter by adding more mirrors? ...or a magnifying glass or large telescope, for that matter (except that the mirrors in the solar tower are flat).